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Arizona Diamondbacks: Loss of Jarrod Dyson Makes Jon Jay Essential

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DENVER, CO - JUNE 8: Jon Jay #9 of the Arizona Diamondbacks walks into the batters box before a first inning plate appearance against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on June 8, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JUNE 8: Jon Jay #9 of the Arizona Diamondbacks walks into the batters box before a first inning plate appearance against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on June 8, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /
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The Arizona Diamondbacks may have lost what had been a key part of their defensive lineup, and an essential baserunner, for a while. A team that was finally getting healthy now has to deal with the injury bug once again.

The Snakes have gone without A.J. Pollock and Steven Souza for long stretches in their outfield this year. This has caused them to have to roll with the likes of Chris Owings and Daniel Descalso on the outfield. Of course, they’re both capable, but you prefer their talents on the infield. In addition to the higher upside that Pollock and Souza present over each of them with the stick. Those deployments, in addition to the acquisition of Jon Jay from the Kansas City Royals. With Pollock and Souza finally healthy, they may now be without Jarrod Dyson for a while.

Dyson was placed on the disabled list earlier this week with a “core” injury. He was out last year for almost the entirety of September with a similar issue. In fact, there’s concern that it may be quite similar to the one that held him out at the end of 2017, when he was with the Seattle Mariners:

Now obviously Dyson isn’t a tremendous part of the Diamondbacks’ offense from an impact perspective. But his 16 steals would be missed if this is a long-term deal. His defense has graded out positively this year, as he filled in in centerfield for a great deal with Pollock out. That skill set from a reserve outfielder is something that can be a key component for a contending squad.

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Should Dyson miss significant time, the Snakes will have to hope that Jon Jay will continue to be an impactful presence as a fourth outfielder.

In one sense, it kind of simplifies things for Torey Lovullo, as far as his outfield is concerned. Teams don’t typically carry five outfielders, so Jay now becomes the primary backup across that area. He doesn’t contribute in the same ways that Dyson does, in terms of the speed and glove, but he’s a strong supplementary piece for this outfield.

Jay makes a lot of contact (84.9%). He gets on base at a more-than-respectable clip (.347). And his defense is likely better than many give him credit for. His arm is among the weaker ones among outfielders, but he’s possesses at least some range and makes all the routine plays. He can certainly replace Dyson’s defensive presence. The speed, on the other hand, is not something he can replicate. Jay has as many steals (15) in the last four years combined as Dyson does this year. He runs the bases well, he just doesn’t swipe him. So Dyson would certainly be missed in that regard.

The main point here is that with Jarrod Dyson going down, Jon Jay now becomes exactly what the Arizona Diamondbacks acquired him to be. He’s the no. 1 backup across the outfield. It’s a role that suits him well and that he filled extremely well with the Chicago Cubs last season.

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Jon Jay has panned out well so far, and he’s received a lot of playing time. He brings more upside at the plate than Dyson; he just can’t replicate the speed. Regardless, Jay’s acquisition now becomes that much more important. With the Dyson injury and Souza’s multiple woes ( injuries, struggles at the plate), Jon Jay has to continue to contribute.

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